Solving the matchstick game
Posted 18 May 2009 - 08:41 AM
For two players. Lay four rows of mathsticks: 1, 3, 5, 7.
The play: A player can take any number of sticks from any one row at a time. The one who has to take the last match loses.
Its always fun to play this a few times and let the patsy win, then offer to bet a couple of beers that you can win the next three games straight out. When he loses, offer double or quits. Eventually he twigs and you both enjoy the beers!
Posted 18 May 2009 - 06:07 PM
Posted 21 May 2009 - 07:13 PM
I think the game's generally called nim and the trick for always winning is based on parity.
Nope, it is not based on parity, there is no trick, as any player can choose the move. It's mathematics.
If anyone wants, we could play a few times right here on the forum. If you want to make it more interesting, we could do a 1 - 3 - 5 - 7 - 9 instead of 1 - 3 - 5 - 7
The simple way ? OK:
(Just write the next 'matches' pattern on the response)
Edited by Externet, 21 May 2009 - 07:25 PM.
Posted 23 May 2009 - 06:04 PM
except for a reversal of the object (ie the last stick wins vs the last stick looses.
The strategy given is based on parity.
There are lots of variations on the basic game and lots of them get called nim.
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